Orlando

Sports editor Matt Belinson has picked out some of the best places to visit while in sunny Orlando for the Camping World Bowl game.

As Iowa State fans travel down to Orlando, Florida, to watch Iowa State take on No. 14 Notre Dame on Dec. 28, there will be plenty to do and see in the Sunshine State.

So as travel plans and itineraries are set, we tried to pick out some of the best places to visit in Orlando.

Disney World

I had to do a lot of digging to find this one. There’s this very quaint little set of amusement parks that make up a little known landmark called Disney World down in Orlando, Florida. Joking aside, this may be out of your budget range if you’re a student, but no one online has to tell you what this place can offer you. If you can, be sure to stop by one of four places. You can ride stuff, you can eat stuff, you can take pictures with park employees dressed as fictional cartoon characters.

Universal Studios

If Disney isn’t your cup of tea, there’s always this also very giant amusement park. There are a ton of things to do here as well, such as rides and food and — okay, it’s very similar. If you are a Universal Studios movie kind of person or you have been to both and like Universal Studios better, then this is the place for you.

The beach

The beach is easily the least costly option mentioned so far, but don’t forget to to do this during your time in the Sunshine State. 

Universal City Walk

You don’t have to buy any tickets for this and it might be even better than that amusement park. You can walk around Universal where there are a ton of eating and shopping opportunities. If you’re of age, there are also some drinking opportunities in the form of bars.

Downtown Orlando

There are tons of things to do in downtown Orlando that are more cost effective for college students. You can check out the views and the nightlife downtown with good food and of course, if you’re 21, bars as well.

As you visit those fun destinations to shop and have a good time under the sun, you'll most likely get hungry along the way.

Lucky for you, we have picked out some of the most popular restaurants in Orlando to grab a good bite to eat.

Here are some of our favorites:

4 Rivers Smokehouse 

This popular Florida barbecue spot has six destinations in Florida — with the two Orlando locations being located in downtown Orlando as well as half a mile from the campus of the University of Central Florida (UCF). 

The menu is filled with cheap sandwiches and tons of authentic smokehouse items like ribs, chicken wings, pulled pork and brisket. This restaurant also has the option to buy a gallon’s worth of any side for only $34.00. This is a real thing. 

Also worth noting is that 4 Rivers Smokehouse is not open on Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th, so you’ll have to get there either Thursday or Friday before the weekend.

Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. — 3 p.m. (Closed on Saturday and Sunday)

Address near UCF campus: 11764 University Blvd., Orlando, FL 

Address in downtown Orlando: 400 South Orange Ave., Orlando, FL

Se7en Bites

This Orlando staple gained a lot of national attention thanks to a visit from Guy Fieri, host of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”. Fieri visited this Orlando hotspot due to their famous moon pies and brunch menu. So if “Flavor Town” isn’t enough to garner your interest, maybe the all-day breakfast and cheap menu items will. No menu item is above $10 before tax and there are multiple vegetarian options available. The most popular moon pie is the vanilla bean bourbon bacon moon pie, but the restaurant recommends to get their early as they serve the pies until they run out.

Hours: Closed on Monday

Tuesday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. — 3:30 p.m.

Saturday through Sunday, 9 a.m. — 3 p.m.

Address: 617 Primrose Dr., Orlando, FL 

Park Pizza and Brewing Co.

As the Reader’s Choice for best pizza in Orlando by the Orlando Sentinel, this pizza place has it all.

Along with over 10 types of pizzas on the menu, you can also create your own pizza with your own creative and hungry mind.

And this place has a $9.00 pretzel that is as big is your face, so enjoy all the carbs you can get before you eat your pizza.

Hours: Open every day from 11 a.m. to midnight

Address: 6941 Lake Nona Blvd. Suite 100, Orlando, FL

Camping World Stadium

The host stadium of the 2019 Camping World Bowl between Iowa State and No.14 Notre Dame has plenty of history behind the name.

Built in 1936 as Orlando Stadium, the construction cost $115,000 to build. The stadium got its origins thanks to a Works Project Administration project by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The stadium was renamed the Tangerine Bowl in 1947, back when the stadium could seat only 10,000 fans.

College football has deep roots in Orlando, with the stadium’s first bowl game taking place in 1947 between Catawba College and Maryville College. Catawba won 31-6 on January 1, 1947.

To shift to present day, there are some major upcoming events that the Camping World Stadium will host. These include but are not limited to: the 2020 Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 between Alabama and Michigan, the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl and the 2020 Monster Jam World Finals May 2-3.

(1) comment

Ed Lyon

The Harry P Leu Gardens are also worth a visit. They are a 50+ acre botanical garden with themed areas PLUS Reiman Gardens' Nature of the Game exhibit on display right now! Much cheaper than the Disney theme parks!

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